Coral Cup Race Card

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race)

1st
Shane Fitzgerald

Commander Of Fleet

Age: 8
Weight: 11.7
OR: 152
J:
 
Shane Fitzgerald
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
midfield, headway after 3rd, tracked leaders after 4th, went second home turn, soon ridden, challenging when mistake last, soon led narrowly, disputed lead final 110yds, edged ahead final strides, all out
2nd
Darragh O'Keeffe

Fastorslow

Age: 6
Weight: 10.9
OR: 141
J:
 
Darragh O'Keeffe
T:
 
Martin Brassil
in touch with leaders, went fourth 3 out, soon pushed along, ridden home turn, made strong challenge run-in, disputed lead final 110yds, kept on well but headed final strides
3rd
Jack Foley

Ashdale Bob

Age: 7
Weight: 11.7
OR: 152
J:
 
Jack Foley
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
led, ridden home turn, faced strong challenge last, soon headed, no extra final 110yds
4th
Aidan Coleman

Camprond

Age: 6
Weight: 10.9
OR: 140
J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Philip Hobbs
tracked leader, disputing second after 5th, ridden when lost second home turn, soon held but stayed on
5th
Sean O'Keeffe

Maze Runner

Age: 7
Weight: 10.8
OR: 139
J:
 
Sean O'Keeffe
T:
 
W P Mullins
midfield, struggling when not fluent 2 out, well held but steady headway approaching last, stayed on run-in

Third race of ladies day

The Coral cup is the third race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival. It follows the two Grade One’s that open the card and is the first of the handicaps.

The race is run over 2 miles, 5 furlongs and there are 10 hurdles for the runners to tackle. The race is open to horses aged four and above and the handicap mark to get into the race differs each year.

The race, despite being a handicap, is a grade 1, with Grade 3 status and the winning connections collect £56,000 in prize money

History of the Coral Cup

The race is called the Coral Cup as it has always been sponsored by the bookmaker and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

The first running of this handicap hurdle was in 1993 and has featured at the festival ever since. It started out as just a handicap race however was promoted to Grade 3 status for the 1999 festival.

Martin Pipe won the inaugural running in 1993 with horse, Olympian and in turn received a £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown, the Saturday before and that race often delivers horses that then go straight to this, just days later.

Recent years

William Henry pipped Willie Mullins’ Wicklow Brave on the line to win the 2019 running foe Nicky Henderson and Nico De Boinville at huge odds 28/1.

It gave Henderson a third win in the race, which means he’s now won top alongside Martin Pipe for Coral Cup wins, the pairs three wins came with the following horses:

Martin Pipe:

Olympian (1993)

Big Strand (1997)

Ilnamar (2002)

Nicky Henderson

Spirit River (2010)

Whisper (2014)

William Henry (2019)

William Henry’s success also meant a second win in the race for Nico De Boinville who was also abroad Whisper in 2014. However, Davey Russell has been successful on three occasions which makes him the most successful jockey in the race. The Irishman has been successful on the following horses:

Davey Russell:
Naiad de Misselot (2008)

Carlito Brigante (2011)

Diamond King (2016)

The race is often a difficult handicap for punters to solve and that is shown by the prices of the winners. There has been no winning favourite in the last 10 renewals and the last four winners have all returned at 12/1 or bigger so it may be worth keeping an eye on the bigger priced horses and searching for extra value. A race like this will also see bookmakers pay extra places.

It would also be advised to pay close attention to any of Nicky Henderson’s runners, especially if they have the services of Nico De Boinville whilst an Irish challenger ridden by Davey Russell should also be subject to attention.

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